Iftar&Community III: ‘A real sense of community’

Bubbles were an especially exciting activity for some of the younger attendees, and the volunteers!

Eid Mubarak, Ramazan Bayramı Kutlu Olsun!

This Ramadan, Istanbul&i hosted 6 Iftar&Community events in the Tarlabaşı/Kasımpaşa neighbourhoods. The events included art activities, games, and sports for the children as well as special programs such as inviting a professional clown, circus performers, and a registered nurse to present about dental hygeine. The end of each evening’s activities were concluded by sharing iftar together with the attendees.

 

Needless to say both attendees and participants had an amazing time sharing a meal, getting to know one another, and building better connections in a community that is often overlooked.

 

Iftar&Community is what really launched Istanbul&i as a community. As long time volunteer, Ahmet, has mentioned, ‘‘’Since its first year in 2016, Iftar&Community has been our main source of energy and happiness. We needed it way more than our beneficiaries did to maintain and strengthen the cohesion of our community for the rest 11 months. In other words, as formula 1 races have pit stop for maintenance, Istanbul&I has Iftar&Community.’’

 

Special thanks goes towards our sponsors, Mülteci Destek Derneği and GIZ for their support, as well as ASAM for lending us tables each night.

 

Read what other volunteers have to say below.

 

Chidlren waited for the facepainting to be transformed into butterflies, lions, Spiderman, and cats.

 

‘’Iftar&Community project for me was a real proof of the big impact of the tiny individual contribution and its importance. We were working as a bee cell all together, doing tiny small tasks in order to get a great achivement. It was a significant team-working experience for I&I volunteers, a wonderful opportunity to work with nice people, and useful time to get rid of the personal life stress.’’ – Monzer

 

‘’I guess Ramadan and our iftar events for me is about forgetting yourself and feeling that you are small part of something bigger. For me I enjoyed the fact that me and couple of my friends that were fasting, we were actually distributing food, I guess the whole iftar and community event was about 2 hours of forgetting about yourself and your problems and just enjoy giving to the community.’’ – Nil

 

Sharing iftar with those in need is an especially important part of Ramadan.

 

‘’As I said before, drawing the smile on the faces of others is our goal, I’m happy that we did it in Iftar&Community, seeing families, children’s, our sweet volunteers smiling, laughing and feeling better was really impressive.’’ -Med

 

‘’Iftar&Community and our amazing volunteers made me feel alive and feel more close to the community which I am a part of. It was some hours when I forgot about all the obstacles and difficulties I had and still having and felt the problems of others instead, Making tens and maybe hundreds of children and adults happy is the biggest happiness in life. Thank you Istanbul&I team!’’ – Sami

 

All smiles after eating!

 

‘’It was my first voluntary event. I met amazing people in a very friendly atmosphere, saw people that are eager to help and without expecting anything in return. Also, I am sad that it is over, can not wait for the next one.’’ – Hamide

 

‘’Volunteering for Iftar& Community was an amazing experience as I felt it was more than food and activites we were offering, we offered fun and interaction and smiles. Doing it with people I love was great.’’ – Ayça

 

We had over 60% of our volunteer community come out and support the project – that’s 270 volunteers!

 

‘’This activity helped us to bring everyone together. I was so happy seeing everyone,who fasted or didn’t, doing something for the kids. We spent only 6 days with them but i believe it was unforgettable days for them as well. Kids got the chance to be kids in these days and that was the most beautiful feeling for me during these days.” – Derya

 

‘’Iftar&Community gave me a real sense of community. I was a photographer for three evenings, and I must say that this was one of the easiest occasions to take nice photos because everyone, both volunteers and participants, was very happy and naturally smiling. I adored every bit of this program, and though I am happy we reached our goal, I am sad it is over. I am already missing it.’’ – Junko

 

Many hands went into making beautiful art projects.

 

‘’I went to Iftar project once and it was one of the most beautiful and joyful Ramadan moments I’ve ever had. I’m beyond grateful to be part in this loving family. If I can sum up into 3 words about Istanbul&I it would be “Good Vibes Only”. – Ratu

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